White House defends Fauci from Musk
The US government has come to the defense of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 czar, saying that Dr. Anthony Fauci is a paragon of public service and that Elon Musk’s suggestions that the octogenarian bureaucrat should be prosecuted are dangerous “personal attacks” divorced from reality.
The Tesla and SpaceX magnate took over Twitter in October and has been sharing details of the platform’s operations under the previous management. Teasing revelations about the pandemic-related censorship, Musk tweeted on Saturday that his pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci.” The post went beyond viral, garnering more than 1.2 million likes so far – and attracting the attention of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“These attacks, these personal attacks that we have been seeing, are dangerous – on Dr. Fauci and other public health professionals as well. They are disgusting, and they are divorced from reality,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.
Fauci has “given his almost entire career to civil service, public service, as a public servant. His work on infectious disease, from HIV/AIDS to Covid, has saved countless lives,” said Jean-Pierre, and America is fortunate he has devoted “his exceptional talent” to public health. “And that's what should be discussed right now,” she concluded.
Now 81, Fauci has been running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He will retire from his government job at the end of the year, just before Republicans – who promised to hold hearings about his handling of the pandemic – take over the House of Representatives.
Fauci became an idol of Democrats in 2020, advocating for longer and tougher lockdowns when President Donald Trump wanted to see them lifted. When Biden became president, he named Fauci his chief medical adviser and followed his strategy of “shutting down the virus” through mask and vaccine mandates.
Several prominent Republicans have clashed with Fauci in congressional hearings, accusing him of funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, where the pandemic supposedly originated. Fauci told Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in May 2021 that NIAID and the National Institutes of Health “categorically” never funded such research. Documents published in September showed NIH and NIAID giving money to the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which funded experiments with bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. NIH has continued to fund EcoHealth, however.
Revelations about Twitter’s pandemic censorship have not been made public yet.